Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Heat wave

It's 35, the weather site says, the real street temperature, as it goes, might be nearing 45.
It's been hot like this since last week and it's sickening. I gradually got used to it so although I'm not fine, I can survive. I took the thinnest bedsheet I could find, I bought the mosquito repelling thingy so that I could sleep with my window open (well, if the idiots across the yard could turn their A/C unit or at least if they got it fixed to run quietly, life would be much better), I sleep with my hair tied in a bun because there's not many a nightmare worse than one's own hair sticking to one's own sweaty face at 3 in the morning.
There are other survival strategies. In Florence, there are fountains with potable water and at the one in the public park, someone placed a plastic bowl for the dogs and cats... so these fountains are reference points in planning the routes. I walk using 'continuation', the police walk described by Terry Pratchett (and someday soon I'll write in detail why I think that the image of Ankh-Morpork is based on Florence). The point is to minimize efforts put in walking and it's easy - just use the necessary muscles. When lifting the leg, use your thigh and relax the calf, for example. Fans make cool fashion accessories, if only pretty ones could be found easily (the wonderful black silk one is back North, the other black one I left at O.'s and she immediatelly misappropriated it....)

It took me a few days to find a fragrance that would stand the heat. Oddly enough, all those summer fragrances just failed. Liberté acidulée - that silly green bottle on the left. It should have a pink cap, someone messed it up somewhere in eBay but I like it this way too. Well, the tomato leaves and tomato flowers make it very, well, sour and citrusy and I could bathe in this... in lower temperatures. In this damn heat, the drydown is unbearably sweet. Another summer fragrance I madly like is Ysatis Iris that changes into jasmine gas chamber these days. Le Jardin sur le Nil gets annoying and Cristalle Eau Verte is too bland. I do love orientals but while packing, I sprayed a bit of Opium - I adore Opium and I have it in around seven variants and many different bottles - into a heap of yarn and the whole apartment instantly reeked of predatory washing powder that may want to bite my feet off. Theorema (in the middle of the first pic, a thin wedge full of golden juice, also on the bottom picture, on the left) changes into orange hard candy plus too much pepper....

I was rummaging in my bag and found a miniature of Asja. A heavy spicy oriental with fruity top notes that should be theoretically totally impossible and killing. Nope. It is spicy dry sweet oriental that stays close to the skin and makes me smell nice. Life is full of surprises.

top photograph, vintages, from left to right: Liberté acidulée by Nina Ricci, KL by Karl Lagerfeld, another oriental that may be passable in summer but it's at home II., Theorema by Fendi, Le De by Givenchy, the vintage version and Une Fleur by Chanel
bottom photograph, kitschy bottles: Theorema again, the black one is Orient Extreme, limited version of Opium and the red one is Secret de Parfum, another limited version of Opium (I said I had many), the black and gold striped bottle is Asja and the odd-shaped red and black thingy is the eponymous fragrance by Hiroko Koshino that would make a wonderful summer drencher but it's at home II. again.


  1. Another fan of Opium....it figures we should like each other :-)

    I find what you say about unexpected things working in the heat true (try some light Lutens fragrances such as Douce Amere or Fleurs d'Oranger too) and I am also mapping my paths according to how close they are to little "park-lettes" (basically a couple of tree groups and some benches under their shade) so I don't completely die out of the heat.

  2. There are hardly any green spots in the centre of Florence. I must be satisfied with the obvious fact that most of the time, one side of the street is in the shadow.

    A storm is coming, the temperature fell by some ten degrees and Opium Eau d'été arrived just today - I thought that this damn heat would be a decent test but life plays its mildly malicious games again.

    What surprises me, I have no health problems in hot weather this year. I'm famous for getting sunstrokes or any other form of sick... well, not that I'd be complaining.